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Winter Park Express ski train to run 12 weekends in 2017

Posted: 12:19 PM, Aug 25, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-25 18:19:20Z

DENVER -- The new Winter Park ski train will run on weekends from January 7 to March 26, 2017.

Amtrak, Winter Park Resort and Union Pacific Railroad said the companies have reached an agreement to operate the Winter Park Express on Saturdays and Sundays for 12 weekends and two extra days -- Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day.

"This is the culmination of a long but rewarding process and we couldn’t be more excited to have passenger rail service return to the doorstep of Winter Park Resort,” said Gary DeFrange, Winter Park Resort President. “We know there’s incredible demand for a viable transportation alternative to I-70 and we’re deeply appreciative to Amtrak, Union Pacific, CDOT, City of Denver, and the Town of Winter Park for helping to make this long-standing dream a reality."

The two-hour train ride will cost $39 each way. Two children, ages 2-12, can ride for half-fare with each ticketed adult.

Tickets go on sale Tuesday, Aug. 30 on Amtrak's website at Amtrak.com/WinterParkExpress .

"Customers will have the flexibility for a day-trip, a weekend stay or even a full week of enjoying the mountains," officials said.

The train will leave Union Station in Denver at 7 a.m. and leave Winter Park at 4:30 p.m.

Visitors to Colorado will now be able to take the train from Denver International Airport to Union Station and connect to the ski train for Winter Park vacations, officials said.

The ski train started in 1936, but stopped in 2009 when the ski train was sold to the Algoma Central Railway . Iowa Pacific Holdings tried to revive the ski train but the company and Amtrak could not reach an operational agreement .

Amtrak and Winter Park offered a ski train for one day in March 2015. It was so popular they added a second day . About 900 people rode the train over those two days.

"Amtrak and the resort worked together with Union Pacific to test this service in 2015, successfully demonstrating interest when tickets for both days operated sold out in minutes,” said Matt Hardison, Amtrak Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing. “We are excited to be part of the team to bring comfort, reliability and accessibility to the trip to Winter Park – and give thousands of our customers an opportunity to experience one of the many exceptionally scenic routes on the Amtrak national network.”

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